Making my way through 1998 and Nitro has been running some big main events to start the year, including Hogan vs Savage in early February. was this done because Raw was gaining on them, or something from Turner execs?
Ill hang up and listen.
Given how obsessed with ratings that Bischoff was, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if that's exactly what it was. He used to counter-program to the minute, putting big stuff on Nitro during RAW's commercial breaks and all kinds of stuff.
In retrospect, it's kind of funny, because that tactic was really only for one specific time zone. Pretty much everywhere else in the country (ie, the west coast), the shows were on staggered feeds, so people didn't even have to choose.